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Should Jewelry Businesses Also Be Technology Businesses?

To stay competitive in today’s marketplace, businesses must constantly prioritize innovation and put technology first. In fact, Reuters recently stated that “all companies are technology companies now”. Should jewelry businesses also find ways to be technology companies? The question may seem laughable, but it’s worth considering.

We get it: you’re probably thinking, “I make low-tech jewelry. I’m not interested in smart watches or other wearable technology. How could this possibly apply to me?” Even the most traditional jewelry giants – like DeBeers – are finding ways to adopt technology, not because it necessarily changes or improves the jewelry they’re selling but because it creates value in other ways.

In case you haven’t heard, De Beers recently announced plans for Tracr, a new platform that uses blockchain technology to track diamonds through the entire supply chain. Who would’ve thought that diamonds could ever be high tech? After all, they’re a billion years old.

By adopting blockchain technology, companies like De Beers and Signet are becoming technology companies, not because the technology will change the diamonds or the diamond jewelry. Those things will likely remain the same. Instead, the blockchain will offer a unique value proposition.

I was recently interviewed for an article on Clickz about this topic. Whether your customers are millennials or Boomers, you can offer them a unique value story by introducing technology into the mix and communicating why technology matters.

For example, blockchain can speak to the growing demand for personalization today. The same way that consumers who are ordering delivery pizza like to track their pizza’s progress via the Domino’s pizza tracker, jewelry buyers can now follow the journey of their individual diamond via blockchain. Blockchain can also speak to the heightened desire to know that a diamond is natural rather than lab grown. No matter what their demographic, most consumers today want greater transparency. In fact, a recent survey of 1,000 US consumers on their transparency beliefs found that “almost nine out of 10 Americans believe transparency from businesses is more important than ever before”.

In the past, you probably wouldn’t have thought of well-known brands like Goldman Sachs and Exxon as technology companies, but even companies in more traditional industries like finance, transportation, and manufacturing are becoming technology companies. In retail, opportunities for innovation definitely exist.

Consider technology not as a gimmick you can sell to your customers but as a tool that can help you improve internal processes, boost customer service, manufacturer products more quickly and with lower costs, speed up shipping, and manage your inventory.

That being said, no jewelry company should ever depend solely on technology for its success. Last week, many ecommerce retailers were reminded of how much they depend on social media to communicate with their customers. On Wednesday, Facebook and Instagram suffered from their worst outage ever, and many of my clients had to forgo posting their planned content that day. What if Instagram disappeared forever? How would you connect with your audience?

The point of this blog post is not to tell you that you should start making fitness tracking rings but to remind you that you can always boost your value proposition as a jewelry brand – and adopting new technologies is one way to do that. At the same time, you never want to find yourself leaning too heavily on technology and to always remember the core principles of good business: strategy, customer service, value, innovation, vision, and more.